Are you looking for a creative and engaging way to teach your students about kings and queens? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of planning for a successful lesson on monarchs.
From choosing age-appropriate resources to teaching critical thinking skills, these tips can help create an engaging learning experience that will captivate your students.
Read on as we provide an overview of everything that goes into planning a good Kings and Queen’s lesson—one they won’t soon forget!
Related: For more, check out our article on How To Promote Diversity In Our History Lessons here.
List of Kings and Queens in England 1066 till Present Day
- William I (1066-1087) – William I, also known as William the Conqueror, became the first Norman King of England after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. During his reign, William I introduced feudalism and undertook the Domesday Survey, which catalogued almost every piece of property in England.
- William II (1087-1100) – William II was the son of William I, and his reign was marked by conflict with the Church and several rebellions.
- Henry I (1100-1135) – Henry I, the youngest son of William I, was known for his administrative and legal reforms. He is also remembered for his conflict with his brother Robert over the succession to the throne.
- Stephen (1135-1154) – Stephen was the grandson of William I, and his reign was marked by civil war with his cousin Matilda over the succession to the throne.
- Henry II (1154-1189) – Henry II was the first of the Plantagenet line of kings and introduced many judicial and legal reforms. His reign was also marked by conflict with Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
- Richard I (1189-1199) – Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, was a famous warrior and leader of the Third Crusade. His reign was also marked by conflict with French King Philip II.
- John (1199-1216) – John was the younger brother of Richard I and is remembered for his conflict with the Church and the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.
- Henry III (1216-1272) – Henry III was only nine years old when he became king, and his long reign was marked by conflict with the barons over his attempts to centralize power.
- Edward I (1272-1307) – Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks, was a successful military leader and introduced many legal and administrative reforms. His reign was also marked by conflict with the Scottish king, William Wallace.
- Edward II (1307-1327) – Edward II was the son of Edward I, and his reign was marked by conflict with his barons and his eventual deposition in favour of his son, Edward III.
- Edward III (1327-1377) – Edward III was a successful military leader known for his victories in the Hundred Years’ War against France. He also instituted many legal reforms and initiated the Order of the Garter.
- Richard II (1377-1399) – Richard II ascended to the throne at the age of ten, and his reign was marked by conflict with his barons and a period of economic and social unrest.
- Henry IV (1399-1413) – Henry IV deposed Richard II, and his reign was marked by conflict with the Welsh, the Scots and his nobles.
- Henry V (1413-1422) – Henry V continued the Hundred Years’ War and achieved victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. His early death led to the rule of his infant son, Henry VI.
- Henry VI (1422-1461 and 1470-1471) – Henry VI’s reign was marked by conflict with the French, the Wars of the Roses and a period of mental instability.
- Edward IV (1461-1470 and 1471-1483) – Edward IV was a member of the Yorkist faction in the Wars of the Roses, and his reign was marked by relative stability and prosperity.
- Edward V (1483) – Edward V was the son of Edward IV, and his reign was short-lived due to his uncle, Richard III, who declared him illegitimate and took the throne.
- Richard III (1483-1485) – Richard III was the last of the Plantagenet kings, and his reign was marked by conflict with the Tudor claimants to the throne, culminating in his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field.
- Henry VII (1485-1509) was the first Tudor king. His reign was marked by efforts to establish a stable and centralized monarchy, including the Court of Star Chamber.
- Henry VIII (1509-1547) – Henry VIII is remembered for his six marriages and his role in the English Reformation, which led to the establishment of the Church of England. His reign was also marked by conflict with the French and the Scottish.
- Edward VI (1547-1553) – Edward VI was the son of Henry VIII, and his reign was marked by attempts to introduce Protestant reforms to the Church of England.
- Mary I (1553-1558) – Mary I, also known as “Bloody Mary,” was the daughter of Henry VIII and is known for her persecution of Protestants and attempt to restore Catholicism in England.
- Elizabeth I (1558-1603) – Elizabeth I was known as the “Virgin Queen”; her reign is often considered a golden age in English history. She established the Church of England as the dominant church, defeated the Spanish Armada, and presided over cultural and economic growth.
- James I (1603-1625) – James I was the first of the Stuart line of kings, and his reign was marked by conflict with Parliament over his attempts to increase royal power.
- Charles I (1625-1649) – Charles I was also embroiled in conflict with Parliament, eventually leading England into a civil war that resulted in his execution.
- Commonwealth Period (1649-1660) – England was briefly ruled as a republic after the execution of Charles I, led by Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector.
- Charles II (1660-1685) – Charles II was invited back to England to restore the monarchy after the end of the Commonwealth period. His reign was marked by conflict with Parliament over religious and political issues.
- James II (1685-1688) – James II was the last Catholic king of England. His attempts to promote Catholicism led to his deposition favouring his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William.
- William III (1689-1702) and Mary II (1689-1694) – William and Mary jointly ruled England after the Glorious Revolution, which established the supremacy of Parliament over the monarchy.
- Anne (1702-1714) – Anne was the last Stuart monarch, and her reign was marked by conflict with France and the War of the Spanish Succession.
- George I (1714-1727) – George I was the first of the Hanoverian line of kings, and his rule was marked by conflict with the Jacobites, who sought to restore the Stuart monarchy.
- George II (1727-1760) – George II’s reign was marked by conflict with France and the expansion of the British Empire. He also presided over the development of the Industrial Revolution.
- George III (1760-1820) – George III is often remembered for his long reign and conflict with the American colonies, which led to the American Revolution. He also suffered from mental instability near the end of his power.
- George IV (1820-1830) – George IV was known for his extravagant lifestyle and support for the arts. He also presided over significant social and economic changes in England.
- William IV (1830-1837) – William IV’s reign was marked by significant social and political reforms, including the Reform Act of 1832, which expanded the franchise.
- Victoria (1837-1901) – Victoria’s long reign was characterized by the expansion of the British Empire, significant social reforms, and the rise of industrialization. She also presided over the Victorian era, often considered a time of outstanding cultural and artistic achievement.
- Edward VII (1901-1910) – Edward VII’s reign was marked by a focus on international diplomacy and efforts to improve Britain’s relations with other European powers.
- George V (1910-1936) – George V presided over a tumultuous period in British history, including World War I and the Great Depression. He also oversaw significant changes in the British political landscape, including establishing the Irish Free State.
- Edward VIII (January-December 1936) – Edward VIII’s reign was short-lived due to his decision to surrender to marry Wallis Simpson, which was considered scandalous at the time.
- George VI (1936-1952) – George VI’s reign was characterized by the events of World War II and the rebuilding of Britain in its aftermath. He also oversaw significant changes in Britain’s relationships with countries worldwide.
- Elizabeth II (1952-2022) – Elizabeth II is the current Queen of England and has presided over significant social and cultural changes in the country. She has also overseen the decentralization of power from the central government to devolved bodies in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
- Charles (2022 – Present)
Related: For more, check out our article on The History of Benin here.
Teaching Opportunities Related to Kings and Queens of England
- History lessons: Learning about the kings and queens of England provides a historical context that can be used to teach students about the political, economic, and social changes that have taken place in England over time.
- Literature lessons: Many famous literary works, such as Shakespeare’s plays, are set during the reigns of various English monarchs. Teachers can use these works to teach students about the context in which they were written.
- Creative writing exercises: Students can be asked to write short stories or plays set during a specific period of English history, emphasising the monarch of that time.
- Art and design projects: Students can be encouraged to create visual art projects depicting a particular king or queen’s lifestyle, fashion, and architecture.
- Research projects: Students can be assigned research projects on specific monarchs, requiring them to research the monarch’s life, rule, and achievements.
- Class discussions and debates: Learning about the different styles of monarchs can spark engaging debates and discussions within a classroom setting, offering opportunities to develop critical thinking and argumentative skills.
- Social studies activities: Students can be tasked with creating a timeline or a flow chart of the different monarchs of England, which would help with their understanding of history and politics.
- Geography lessons: Students can learn about how England’s capital, London, has evolved under the rule of different monarchs, expanding their knowledge of both history and geography.
Related: For more, check out our article on Using Primary Sources To Teach History here.
Lesson Plan 1: Famous Monarchs Research Project
This lesson plan involves assigning students to research a famous monarch of England, such as Henry VIII or Queen Elizabeth I. The students will explore the monarch’s life, rule, and achievements and then create a presentation or report on them.
- Develop research skills
- Expand knowledge of English history.
- Learn public speaking skills.
- Introduce the topic of different monarchs in English history to the students, providing a brief overview of a few famous ones.
- Assign each student a different monarch to research.
- Give the students time to research their monarch using reliable sources such as history textbooks or reputable online sources.
- Once the research is complete, the students can create a presentation or a report summarizing their findings.
- On presentation day, each student will present their report/presentation.
- After every presentation, the teacher will encourage Q&A sessions to test students’ knowledge and encourage critical thinking.
Lesson Plan 2: Comparing Different Monarchies
This lesson plan involves comparing the different styles of monarchy in England with other monarchies, such as the French monarchy. Students will learn how these various monarchies functioned and compare them to England.
- Understand the similarities and differences between different monarchies.
- Develop critical thinking skills.
- Learn to identify connections in history.
- Discuss how different monarchies operate.
- Introduce students to different types of monarchy, such as absolute and constitutional monarchy.
- Discuss other monarchies besides England that have had a significant historical impact.
- Have students develop a Venn diagram to compare different monarchies.
- After, students will present their Venn diagrams to the class, emphasizing the key distinctions and similarities between different types of the monarchy.
Lesson Plan 3: Short Stories Set in a Specific Period
This lesson plan involves assigning students to write a short story set in a particular period in English history, focusing on the monarch ruling at that time. Students will use imagery and research to create a historically accurate story.
- Develop creative writing skills.
- Expand knowledge of English history.
- Learn to incorporate sensory language.
- Introduce the students to the concept of historical fiction writing.
- Assign students to write a short story set during the reign of a particular monarch. They can write from a commoner’s perspective or a royal family member’s.
- Students will research to provide accurate historical detail to their stories. This can range from everyday life details to significant events during the monarch’s reign.
- Assist how in incorporating sensory language and vivid descriptions into a story.
- After each student has completed their short story or play, participants will present them to the class.